I'd been waiting for an opportunity to take some pictures in the snow for some time. I had my fingers crossed that I'd see some during my last visit to South Wales in January - but it wasn't to be.
So when a freezing weather front dubbed "The Beast from the East" met "Storm Emma" from the south over Cornwall, dumping 3-4 inches of snow, I had to get out shooting!
At mid morning on the 28th February 2018, snow started to fall quite heavily while I was at work. We were sent home at around lunch time - so I left my car at work and began to walk home with my camera.
The half hour walk turned into a 90 minute wander...
#1 - "STRANDED"
I looked for a shot where the snow was still pristine. The roads were being driven on and pavements walked on which scuppered that idea... Until I walked past Penryn Train Station! I imagined that the tracks would still be untouched by human footprints and the tracks could create ideal lead-in lines as seen later in pic 2.
My first shot however was a bit of a happy accident - but probably my favourite! I intended to capture an image of the train at the platform - but I was moments too late. As I then had the camera ready, I popped off a shot anyway. The falling snow wasn't captured in camera, so it was added in post editing to recreate how the scene.
The person in shot wasn't really "Stranded" as the trains were running - but I thought the title suited the image well!
#2 - "SNOWY TRACKS, PENRYN STATION"
This image came together really well. The wind was into my back - so the lens stayed pretty dry. I had read previously that for snow scenes, exposure compensation should be dialled up a stop or two which worked well (while keeping an eye on the histogram). A flash caught the falling snow.
#3 - "SNOW RUSH"
I waited a while (quite a while actually) for a train to enter my shot.
I was undecided whether to go for a fast shutter for a sharp image or a slow shutter for a complete blur on the train - so I went somewhere in between! It seemed to work, although the falling snow turned streaky too - but it didn't seem right to add it again in post this time.
#4 - "A PENRYN CHRISTMAS CARD"
I packed up and left the station. As I walked into the town centre the snow began to stop, the clouds parted and a blue sky appeared.
Again, looking for a place where the snow (in the foreground at least) still looked fresh, I set up my tripod on the steps of Penryn Methodist Church.
In this composition, the road leads the eye to the Town Hall as a focal point, while the colourful buildings and blue sky made for a much more vibrant image than those taken at the station.
With a potential Christmas Card shot in mind, a little artistic licence was taken in adding the falling snow in post editing.
After packing the camera into my bag again, I went home... to build a snow man and snowball fight with my neighbours!
For the next day (1st March 2018) I was hoping for a fresh dump of snow overnight to allow me to grab some nice shots at sunrise, but we had nothing! We did however get more snow throughout the day - and once again we were sent home from work early. This time, at about 3pm...
#5 - "ICY PENRYN RIVER"
With my car stuck at work, I was only able to wander close to my house in Penryn.
This shot taken just a few hundred metres from my house, features Penryn River with ice floating amongst the moored up boats at high tide.
The weather conditions muted the background colours in striking contrast to the rowing boats in the foreground. A little enhancement in post editing pulled this out even more. A flash froze the falling snow in the foreground.
#6 - A CORNISH SNOWSCAPE
My walk continued along Penryn River - then cutting back up to Bissom Road where I began walking towards Mylor.
This winter scene looks over rolling hills - taken from the road. The snow blizzard gave separation in intensity to the tree lines (emphasised with a long focal length) adding depth to the scene.
I confess though - My attempts to capture the falling snow with flash didn't work. The flakes were too big - possibly due to the long focal length. So I used a shot without flash and added extra falling snow in post editing to better represent what I saw.
By this time the snow was pretty heavy and keeping the lens free from water and smears was becoming impossible - so a few compositions didn't make the final cut!
#7 - "BISSOM ROAD UNDER SNOW"
I had been keeping my eyes peeled for strong compositions with lone trees for a while before the snow arrived...
This strong lone tree shed of it's leaves overlooking a white out Bissom Road made just the composition I hoped for. The tyre tracks made for ideal lead in lines too!
By this time, the sun had set and it was time to go home and hang up my snow boots (if I had any) for another 7 years or so!
I hope you liked looking at these images as much as I enjoyed taking them...
Like most of my other photos, they are available to buy - maybe to remember this weather event by?! Please feel free to contact me if you are interested.
All images are subject to Copyright. Andrew Hocking 2018.